Lado decided that he wanted to have a lunch with his friends and me. When he started planning, the list of people included his girlfriend, and his best buddies. We were going to go to the Sea, ‘nature’ or wherever now that he has access to a car. Well for some reason that morphed into just going to a restaurant soon and having some khinkali and mts’wadi. He reminded me of the plan for a couple of days, then finally we set the day and time for Sunday at 3 pm. Okay.
At 3, I went downstairs and waited for him. 3 o’clock also happens to be the time the family eats the hot lunch. They prepared a big delicious one. And I guess Lado didn’t tell them I was going with him (or we were going anywhere at all) because they told me to come eat. Uh oh.
Lado came down, said we were leaving and poured a water bottle full of Cha-Cha. I shrugged and apologized then quickly followed Lado out the door. Waiting outside were two friends of Lado’s, one I knew, Dato from the summer. And then there was a newer friend who recently started hanging out. We made our way through town and picked up another friend, Razo.
Unfortunately it had been raining for the past few days and now the temperature was dropping, too. We were trying to beat the rain to the restaurant. When we finally got there, it was the same restaurant that we changed our happy hour for.
We ordered as previously mentioned mts’wadi and khinkali. The boys had very sweetly pooled their money together and Lado meticulously counted it over and over. I also threw in 10 Lari which apparently was a lot and greatly appreciated. Since I love mts’wadi, they ordered just one for me and 30 khinkali for them and two bottles of soda. They waited until the food came before they started on the shots of cha-cha.
Two things struck me about the lunch. One was the way the one friend served as Tamada (toastmaster). He took it seriously and did a fine job of it. The supra and tamada are integral parts of Georgian culture observed even by its youth. The second thing was how they eat dishes separately. At home we get one thing, eat it, then choose something else to put on our plate. Never mixing food or eating multiple food at once. At the restaurant, I ate mts’wadi and they ate khinkali. I wanted some fries or even khachapuri, something. But, no.
I didn’t want to even start drinking cha-cha, so I had a beer. I would have had more, but it seemed they had spent every last cent on the meal. So I watched as they toasted and finished the entire bottle of cha-cha. When they ordered another bottle of vodka, it was time for me to go. Rain or no rain.
I mentioned a lot earlier that an important part of developing my stability here is creating a community. In effort to build that, Sunday nights are now Movie Nights! The English speakers, who live in Oz, gather at either Rachel’s apartment or the Polish girls’ flat. We bring refreshments (of course) and rotate –alphabetically- as to who chooses the movie. Tonight was my first time being able to attend due to being sick on the inaugural meeting. So it’s an understatement to say, I was EXCITED!
Georgian apartments are interesting phenomenon in their own right. They are usually rented fully furnished (which is different from what I know, but not unheard of). They tend to have a throwback feel to the Soviet era. Heating the entire space is still an issue. The furniture is antique-y and dishes are all mix matched and looks like they were bought at a flea market. Throw it all together and you have a weird, cozy feeling space.
Once beverages and snacks were served and the projector set up and operating, the lights went off and movie night commenced. I sat in a leather chair that had those super old springs that you could not only distinctly feel as you settle in, they also creak as you shift weight. But it was the kind of old chair that once you settled in, it molded to you in perfect comfort…. for a little bit. I was also fortunate to be close to the space heater. When my toes got cold, I could just hover them over the heater for a couple of seconds.
The movie tonight was ‘Chicken with Plums’. It was a pretty good movie. Not the BEST, but glad I saw it.
“Thou movie, which art on screen, hallowed be they name. The time has come. Thou will be shown in theaters as well as home. Give us this day our daily film and forgive our bad choices, as we forgive those whose movies were so bad to choose. And lead us not into television, but deliver us from that evil, for movies are the picture and the sound, and the greatest thing in the whole wide world, forever and ever. Movies Rule!”
– quote from ,The Movie Hero.